Skip to main content

Full text of "The Camel Rides Again - a primer in magick"

See other formats


The Camel 
Rides Again 

A Primer in Magick 



Alan Chapman 


HEPTARCHIA PRESS 

www.thebaptistshead.co.uk 



Heptarchia Press 

Information: www.thebaptistshead.co.uk 


Copyright © Alan Chapman 2007 
First printing August 2007 


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or 
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, 
including photocopying, recording or by any information retrieval system 
without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, except for 
brief quotations in a review. 



VII: 22. Resolve me the wonder of it all 
into the figure of a gaunt swift camel 
striding over the sand. 

— Uber Fiberi vel luipdis L a^idi 
Adumbratio Kabbalae Aegfptiorum 
Sub Figura VII 



A.'. A.'. 

Publication in Class B 


Chapter One 



2 



The Science of Experiencing Truth 


T o understand the fundamental purpose of magick, why you 
might want to practise it, and how best to approach 
becoming a magician, we must first discuss ignorance. 

The greatest unknown is why we exist, or ‘the meaning of 
life’. If appearances are anything to go by, the majority of 
people are too busy eating, excreting and exchanging pieces of 
paper to concern themselves with ontology. However, if we 
don’t know what life is for, the reason we exist, or even if there 
is a reason, then on what basis do we proceed with our lives? 

A situation that impinges upon physical survival, such as not 
having enough food, or lacking shelter, is obviously of primary 
concern. Yet in the West, we enjoy the luxury of experiencing 
dire conditions such as these very infrequently. 

If someone is not starving to death, or lying in hospital with 
a debilitating disease, what is it that keeps them from looking 
for the answer? To indulge materialism at the expense of getting 
to the bottom of why we appear to be floating on a rock in the 
middle of infinity, is to choose the easy anaesthesia of the state 
of ignorance. 

But how can we be truly happy if we don’t understand what 
happiness is? How can we be successful in life if we don’t 
understand what life is? In order to do anything genuinely 
worthwhile, we need to first wake up and know the truth. 


3 



In these heady, post-modernist days where everything is 
relative, subjective, and all viewpoints are equally valid, the very 
idea of ‘truth’ has fallen into disrepute. We are told there is no 
truth, and some believe that this is liberation. 

The post-modernist might argue that it’s very easy to 
experience one single so-called truth, and then experience its 
complete opposite. You can be a right-wing conservative one 
minute, and a left-wing liberal the next; you can have faith in 
The Divine, and then become an agnostic sceptic instead. 
Therefore there’s no correct answer or truth, just many 
viewpoints, all of equal value, and we are free to pick and 
choose. 

However, to say ‘there is no truth’ is not borne out by 
experience. At the exact moment we experience the order and 
beauty of the world as evidence of divine intent, that is the 
truth. The minute we experience a cold, mechanical world, 
devoid of any meaning beyond what we give it, that is the truth. 
The fact that what we experience as true is mutable does not 
mean there is no truth; just that truth is experiential , not fixed or 
bound by concepts. The idea ‘there is no truth’, apart from the 
post-modernist’s omniscient knowledge that this is so, is still 
simply an idea. We can never escape from accepting one correct 
answer. 

Pretending there is no truth leads nowhere. If we want the 
truth about anything, we need to experience it. So how do we 
experience the truth regarding existence? Throughout the 
history of humanity, in all cultures in all places, there are 
teachings or practices that claim to provide this experience. 

You need simply perform these practices, and see what 
happens. 

In the West, we call this magick. 

Of course, magick can be used to summon spirits, divine the 
future, and make yourself rich, amongst other things. (How this 


4 



fits in with experiencing the truth about existence will be 
discussed later.) But even so, because the practice of magick is 
an experiential rather than an intellectual endeavour, we must 
approach our understanding of magick as we would a science. 

This doesn’t mean that magick is a branch of science, like 
quantum physics or chemistry. Magick becomes a science when 
we apply the scientific method to the magical act. In simple 
terms, just like an experiment, the results from practising 
magick can be corroborated by peers through independent enquiry. I can 
perform a specific act of magick, gain a certain result, and then 
you can perform the same act and obtain a similar result. A 
model is then formulated that best fits those results, which can 
then be adapted or overhauled where appropriate, as practice 
develops and new results are obtained. 

This may seem at first a rather naive view of science, but 
verification through actual experience is nevertheless the central 
principle of science. Therefore, you can be scientific in your 
approach to magick simply by recording what was practised and 
what occurred as a result. This won’t ‘prove’ that magick exists 
or what magick can do as far as the academic or scientific 
community is concerned, but it will for you and your peers. 

A team of scientists validating magick in a laboratory would 
be anathema to magick, because magick is about the individual 
experiencing truth. It is therefore imperative that everyone 
experiences magick for themselves, rather than being told about 
it by priests in white lab coats. To accept magick on the hearsay 
of others would be to participate in ignorance. 

Magick is the science of experiencing truth. If you want to 
know the truth about existence, if you want to know if there is 
purpose to life, simply perform the practices and see what 
happens. 


5 



To be a magician you need simply stop thinking about doing 
it, stop talking about it, believe nothing except what you’ve 
experienced and practise every day. 

People say that ignorance is bliss, but in my experience, truth 
is bliss. 

I hope that you will corroborate this. 


6 



Chapter Two 



7 



The Art of Experiencing Truth 


I n technical, materialistic terms, here’s what to expect as a 
result of performing an act of magick: sometime afterwards, 
whether it was an act intended to bring about a specific event, 
divine the future, or communicate with a spirit, the result will 
manifest through the means available andjw/ will get exactly what 
you asked for. 

What you can experience through magick is limited only by 
your imagination. 

Although being a magician means that you get to make 
wishes that come true, how you experience a wish coming true is 
limited by the available means of manifestation. 

If you’ve read any books on magick, no doubt you’ll have 
come across any number of magical laws or methods that ‘must’ 
be included within a ritual or practice in order for a result to 
manifest. However, experience will show that these so-called 
magical ‘laws’ are in fact arbitrary. 

I’m going to discuss three of the most popular ‘magical laws’ 
or methods, in order to illustrate my point. 

The first method is sympathetic magick. This is based on the 
law that ‘like causes like’. 

Practically, this entails acting out a desired result, which then 
manifests in the real world. The most popular example of this is 
sticking pins in an effigy of an enemy in order to cause him or 



her an illness or injury. This does indeed work, but do we really 
believe there is some kind of cosmic principle that judges how 
lifel ik e our effigy is? 

If you’ve ever done sigil magick (if it’s new to you, there are 
some practical instructions in the Appendix), you’ll know 
already that you can obtain a magical result through a 
completely nonsensical act. In fact, the very purpose of a sigil is 
to make your desire incomprehensible to your conscious mind; 
in other words, unsympathetic. 

Therefore, a magical act does not need to be sympathetic in 
order to work. 

Next up: the magical link. The magical link is usually an object, 
such as nail-clippings, hair, or a piece of jewellery that belongs 
to the person to be affected by magical means. The magical link, 
especially when it contains genetic material, is often regarded as 
indispensable in rites of healing or cursing. 

However, referring back to sigil magick again, it’s possible to 
affect a person simply by including their name in the sentence 
used to make the sigil. And, as we saw with sympathetic magick, 
it’s equally possible to use a doll to represent a target, or a 
drawing. 

Therefore, the magical act does not require a traditional 
magical link in order for it to work. 

Our third magical law is quite popular at the moment on the 
magical scene. It’s called gnosis ; the inclusion of an altered state 
of consciousness within a ritual, brought about by various 
methods ranging from meditation to orgasm. The greater the 
experience of gnosis, supposedly the better the magical result, 
and — conversely — if there’s no gnosis, then you shouldn’t expect 
any result. 

Despite this, in African, Caribbean and Brazilian traditions, 
such as Voodoo or Quimbanda, altered states of consciousness 
are not employed. It might be argued that possession is an 

9 



altered state, but an altered state is not required for the 
possession itself. 

And then, of course, experience will demonstrate to 
you — after you’ve tried it — that sympathetic magick works, 
which involves no change in consciousness whatsoever. 

So — once again — the magical act does not require gnosis in 
order to succeed. 

What I’m getting at here is that all these methods of magick 
do indeed work, but no method in itself is essential to the 
magical act. Magick has no laws unless you make them up. 

The only secret of magick is what magick is: magick is the 
experience of truth. 

By this, I mean that you can choose a belief or desire and 
then decide that an experience means the same thing as that 
belief or desire. 

If you then undergo that experience, what you decided it 
means has become true, because that experience is the truth. 

For instance, if I decide that an experience such as writing a 
cheque and posting it to myself means ‘I will receive a lot of 
money’, and I undergo that experience, i.e. I write and post that 
cheque, then I will have had an experience that means: ‘I will 
receive a lot of money’. That experience is true, and because it is 
in the future tense, I will necessarily have in the future the 
experience of receiving a lot of money. 

There’s a good chance that I’m still not making much sense. 
The fact is, magick is so simple it makes it hard to describe. 

To make it clearer, I’ve devised a clear outline of the magical 
act, which can be applied to any magical technique. We’ll 
examine it in more detail in a moment, but for now it goes like 
this: 

^Decide what you want to occur. 


10 



^Ensure that what you want to occur has a means of 
manifestation. 

^Choose an experience. 

^Decide that the chosen experience means the same thing as 
what you want to occur. 

* Perform the act or undergo the experience. 

^Obtain the result. 

Let’s suppose you want a pay-rise at work. If you performed 
some magick for this, you might do the following: 

* Decide what you want to occur. 

That’s easy: ‘I will get a pay-rise at work.’ 

% Ensure that what you want to occur has a means of manifestation. 

Well, I do have a job and money does exist, so no problem 
there. 

* Choose an experience. 

This could be any ritual where I imitated the outcome; a 
completely nonsensical action, or the visualisation of an 
arbitrary sigil I’d made — whatever takes my fancy. 

* Decide that the experience means the same thing as what you want to 
occur. 

I decide to do the ritual that imitates the desired outcome, 
and so I simply decide that’s what the ritual means. 

* Perform the act or undergo the experience. 

I actually get out of my chair and do the ritual. 

* Obtain the result. 

This will manifest as a synchronicity — usually no sooner than 
the next day — although this may vary according to the desired 
outcome. 


11 



Hopefully this has made it clearer. But let’s go through it 
again, this time with details of some actual magical techniques, 
to fill in the outline. This time, let’s suppose I’ve decided to 
contact a spirit who will arrange the pay-rise for me. 

* Decide what you want to occur. 

‘I will get a pay-rise.’ 

* Ensure it has a means of manifesting. 

I already have a job, so that’s fine. 

* Choose an experience. 

I’ll make an address to the Aztec God, Tezcatlipoca. This 
could be through a visualised or physical representation of him, 
like a drawing or statue, and may involve making him an 
offering and asking for the desired result. 

* Perform the ritual. 

I have a chat with Tez, give him some chocolate, and wait 
for the result. 

Another example: let’s say that by this time I’ve received my 
pay-rise, but now I decide I’d quite like to find out what it feels 
like to be possessed by the Archangel Gabriel. 

* Decide what you want to occur. 

‘I will be possessed by the Archangel Gabriel.’ 

X Ensure what you want has a means of manifesting. 

I’ll manifest the archangel through my body; that’s what 
makes it possession. 

* Choose an experience. 

Let’s say: reading aloud an invocation that I’ve composed, 
requesting Gabriel to possess me. 

* Perform the act. 


12 



I read the invocation and then I allow Gabriel to possess me, 
which is the manifestation of the result. 

Okay, one more example, which examines the question of 
how divination fits into the ritual outline. 

* Decide what you want to occur. 

‘I will receive an answer to my question.’ 

* Ensure that what you want to occur has a means of manifestation. 

Let’s say I’m using a deck of tarot cards. 

* Choose an experience. 

Shuffling the cards, and laying a number of them out in a 
certain pattern. 

* Decide the experience means the same thing as your desire. 

I resolve that the tarot reading will answer my question. 

*Have the experience. 

I shuffle the cards and lay them out. 

3* Obtain the result. 

I have my answer in front of me, providing I know what the 
symbols mean. 

Hopefully these examples of the magical act have made the 
idea of ‘experience as truth’ substantially clearer. Each example 
is different, but the common component is the decision about 
what an experience means. 

Earlier, I mentioned that what you want to occur should 
have a means of manifestation, and it’s the misunderstanding of 
this, the failure to recognise that magick doesn’t break the laws 
of physics, which is the root cause of the dismissal of magick as 
fantasy, and the disappointment of so many beginners, once 
they discover that magick won’t allow them to levitate, or shoot 
lightning-bolts from their finger-tips. 


13 



Even so, what you can manifest within the totality of your 
sensate universe is more surprising than what you might 
imagine. Subjectively, a result can manifest through emotions, 
thoughts, visions, dreams, or trance states. Objectively, results 
tend to appear as synchronicities, but physical manifestation can 
and does occur, especially in work with demons or spirits, 
ranging from kinetic energy (actual moving objects), to changes 
in temperature or feelings of ‘pressure’. 

If you ask for a specific result, like winning at the horses, it 
may manifest as a synchronicity, because that is often the most 
convenient means available. If you never go the race track, and 
resolve not to change your habits, then your winnings are more 
likely to manifest in a dream. 

If you want to communicate with an entity of some 
description, but you don’t have any natural visionary ability, you 
shouldn’t expect the entity to pop out from a cloud of smoke. 
You may need to provide it with a means of manifestation, such 
as a divinatory device, like an Ouija board or a pendulum. 

When evoking demons, these may very well manifest 
subjectively as well as objectively. You might feel a presence in 
the room, but the demon may also manifest as an emotion. 
Beware of that branch of demon-magick known as Goetia. The 
inability of the magician to recognise how a demon manifests is 
usually the weakness that the demon will exploit in its bid to 
ruin your life. 

So — in conclusion, what is magick? 

Magick is the art of experiencing truth. 

What you decide to experience as the truth within the 
magical act is limited only by your imagination. Magick is an art, 
because it has no laws, but only arbitrary aesthetics that dictate 
its method. As long as you decide what it means, you can do 
anything, and it works. You can make your magick funny, witty 
or serious; ecstatic, absurd or deranged; profound or delirious. 


14 



Magick has been all of these things for me, and I hope it will 
prove the same for you. 


15 




16 


There is No Failure 


I n the last chapter, I debunked the idea that there are laws or 
methods necessary in order to make magick work, and I 
presented an outline of ritual that can be used to understand or 
construct any kind of magical act. I should stress that this 
outline is arbitrary — it’s not a magical law or an explanation of 
how magick works. The steps described are simply a means of 
helping the magician to understand what the magical act is, and 
therefore how to do it. 

The simplicity of magick beggars belief; no doubt, some 
people won’t accept that something so simple can have such 
mind-bending results. 

Often, the first question that comes to mind when 
considering the simplicity of the magical act is: why doesn’t 
everyone do magick all of the time and get what they want? 

The second question is: How is it that people who know 
about magick, and actively pursue it, nevertheless sometimes 
fail? 

A lot of books on magick have provided all sorts of 
explanations why failure occurs, and have given advice on the 
techniques necessary to ensure that you obtain the desired 
result. 

For instance, we’re told that when doing sigil magick we 
must employ gnosis and then make a conscious effort at 
forgetting the magical act altogether. The explanation for this is 

17 



usually that the sigil must be ‘buried in the subconscious’ in 
order for it to work. 

Rather than debating the merits of the various explanations 
for ‘how’ magick works, let’s tackle this instead in terms of the 
definition I’ve given: magick as the art of experiencing truth. 
This means we focus on what is actually experienced during the 
act. We’ll examine sigil magick in the light of this. 

Briefly, sigil magick involves writing out in words your desire 
or what you want to occur, omitting repeated letters from the 
sentences, then arranging the remaining letters into an abstract 
glyph or ‘sigil’. You then induce gnosis — an altered state of 
consciousness — through meditation, sex, or one of the many 
other methods, visualise the sigil, and then make a conscious 
effort at forgetting all about it until the result manifests. 

Let’s break this down into the ritual outline: 

* Decide what you want to occur. 

Let’s say I’ve lost my keys and want to find them. So what I 
want to occur is: ‘I will find my keys’. 

* Ensure that what you want to occur has a means of manifestation. 

Well, I had my keys a while ago, so presumably they still 
exist. 

* Choose an experience. 

Sigil magick means I’ve chosen the visualisation or the 
experience of the sigil as my magical act. 

* Decide that the experience means the same thing as what you want to 
occur. 

The method of writing out my desire, omitting the repeating 
letters and constructing a sigil out of what remains is simply a 
way of deciding what the experience of the sigil means. 

(By the way, if you’re sick of going through this tedious 
method for making a sigil, you can just make up an arbitrary 


18 



design from your imagination, and then decide that it means the 
same thing as what you want to occur. It’s even possible to use 
a sigil to mean one thing, and then — once the result has 
occurred — re-use the exact same sigil and decide it means 
something else. I recommend that you verify this for yourself. 
The reason you can do this is that magick doesn’t operate on 
the basis of some kind of mechanism working behind the 
scenes. Magick is simply about deciding what an experience 
means and then having that experience.) 

* Perform the act or undergo the experience. 

At this point I induce gnosis, visualise the sigil, and then 
forget about it. 

* Obtain the result. 

I find my keys the next day. 

If what I’m claiming is true, then surely we wouldn’t need 
gnosis either, nor would we need to forget about the sigil in 
order for it to work. Well, that would indeed be the case, if it 
weren’t for one vital factor: human beings habitually decide that 
an experience means: ‘I hope or desire a specific event will 
occur’. 

The use of gnosis and amnesia is there to help ensure that 
the experience of the sigil means (instead) the same as what we 
want to occur. Chances are, if we remember the sigil, we’ll 
think: ‘I hope I find my keys’. The experience of the sigil now 
means something entirely different from our intention, and we 
obtain an immediate magical result — we hope we find our keys! 

This is the basis of the principle that ‘lust of result’ will 
nullify a magical result; in other words, if you are in a state of 
desire for the outcome of a magical act, then it will not work. 
However, the truth is that magick never fails; it is not a 
mechanism or a process that can be interfered with or negated. 
Everything you experience is magick, including being in a state 
of desire. 


19 



To illustrate this, lets look at the magical act of desire in 
terms of the outline: 

* Decide what you want to occur. 

Let’s stick with me wanting to find my lost keys. However, if 
I am in a state of desire, I’m not deciding: ‘I will find my lost 
keys’. In a state of desire, I’m deciding: ‘I hope I find my lost 
keys’. 

* Ensure that what you want to occur has a means of manifestation. 

Well, that’s easy; I’m an emotional entity. Hoping, fearing, 
desiring and hating all come pretty naturally. 

* Choose an experience. 

Usually this takes the form of daydreaming, fantasising, 
swearing, shouting, pulling hair out and all the other fun things 
that people do when frustrated. (If you’ve performed an act of 
sigil magick, this is the point at which you might unfortunately 
remember the sigil, despite your best efforts to forget it.) 

* Decide that the experience means the same thing as what you want to 
occur. 

We’re so conditioned when it comes to desire that this 
occurs automatically and leads straight into: 

* Perform the act or undergo the experience. 

This is what we normally call ‘expression’. (In terms of 
buggering up our sigil magick, the last two steps and this one 
occur instantaneously in the act of remembering the sigil, which 
engenders:) 

* Obtain the result. 

It manifests immediately — I hope I find my keys! 

We can see now that an altered state of consciousness 
prevents us from the usual daydreaming or speculation, and so 
aids the manifestation of a result by preventing us from 
changing the meaning of the sigil during its visualisation. For 

20 



this reason, to people beginning magick, I would wholeheartedly 
recommend the sigil method as a means of preventing the 
‘magick’ we normally perform most of the time. However, this 
shouldn’t deter anyone from practising more elaborate ritual 
magick; sometimes, even the simple act of physical movement 
or chanting can work as a more enjoyable and easier method of 
circumventing the usual human habit of desiring the outcome. 

At the beginning of this chapter, I posed two questions: 
firstly, if magick is so simple, why isn’t every one doing it? 

The answer — as we can now see — is that they are doing it, but 
they’re using magick to keep themselves in a state of desire. 

Secondly: why do magicians sometimes fail to get a result? 

Well, it would be tempting to say this is simply because 
magicians are human, but the concept of magick ‘working’ or 
‘failing’ isn’t really applicable to its nature; magick just is. The 
difference between a magician who obtains what he or she 
wants and a magician who doesn’t is that the successful 
magician manifests less desire. 

As is stated in the greatest magical text ever written: ‘For 
pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of 
result, is every way perfect.’ 


21 



Chapter Four 



22 















The Walls Came Tumbling Down 


I n Chapter One, we saw that the function of magick is the 
provision of experiential truth regarding existence, and how 
we must necessarily approach the practice of magick on a 
scientific basis. In Chapters Two and Three we explored what 
magick is, illustrated by the use of an arbitrary ritual outline, 
which can be used to understand any magical act whatsoever. 

You may have noticed that my definition of magick as the 
art, science and culture of experiencing truth can be taken in 
two ways, which I appear to have explored in Chapters One and 
Two respectively. In the first sense, of ‘magick as a means of 
experiencing the truth regarding existence’, you might be 
forgiven for thinking I was pushing the idea of an absolute truth 
regarding the existence of the universe, and that all acts of 
magick have a singular aim. 

Yet in the second sense, I appeared to be claiming that you 
can make any idea true, just so long as you decide to experience 
that idea, and so any truth regarding the universe is completely 
subjective, and thus magick can be performed for any end. 

Am I confused? 

Well, if you’ll bear with me, I’ll try to show how this 
apparent contradiction falls away when we consider that truth 
lies with experience, and not with ideas. 

I advocated that magick could be practised in a scientific 
manner, by performing the various magical techniques as an 

23 



experiment, recording the results in an attempt to corroborate 
the claims of magicians and adopting a model of reality based 
on those results. However, it’s important to understand what a 
model is: a description of what you have actually experienced. A 
model is not a belief, although certain factors in your model 
may not be verified yet by experience. The greater the 
proportion of ideas in that model based upon experience, the 
more useful that model is. As such, not all models are equal nor 
are they all valid. 

If we look at all magical cultures or traditions — and I’m using 
‘magick’ here as a blanket term for all practices that advocate 
experience of truth above belief or argument — we can see a 
common element in the predicted progress or the expected 
developmental results engendered by magical practice. This goal 
or end-result is startlingly similar across all traditions. In 
Buddhism we have the experience of ‘emptiness’ that is form; in 
Qabalah we have Ain (or ‘nothing’), which is the manifest 
universe; in Sufism there is ‘no God but God only’; and in the 
Greek tradition we have ‘the One that is not One’, and so on. 

As different as these symbol sets might be, as diverse as the 
various magical practices are, as independent as each culture is 
from the other, they all appear to be describing the same thing. 
Yes, it’s true that the perception of experience is relative and 
subjective, and that this is what finds expression in the diversity 
of the magical models, but the models nevertheless all 
approximate to each other. 

If you look to actual experience for the truth, if you base 
your world-view or model on actuality (i.e. non-verbal 
phenomena), you will inevitably find yourself in a continual 
process of revising your model in the light of new experience. It 
becomes obvious that no model can ever account for that 
which hasn’t occurred yet. In addition to this, it also becomes 
painfully evident that the model is not the same thing as the 
actual experience. As Count Alfred Korzybski used to say: ‘the 


24 



map is not the territory’. You cannot fully comprehend 
experience or the universe with an idea or a model. However, it 
is possible to experience that comprehension. Magick is the 
means of having this experience. 

No matter how often you change your model, you will not 
change your experience; either the model fits or it doesn’t. But, 
being magicians, we know we can change our experience to fit a 
model, by including that model within a magical act. If we act on 
our idea or model we will have experience of it, thereby making 
it true. 

The upshot of this is that if you do not practise magick, or 
you do not know that you can change your perceptions, then 
any model used by a tradition that teaches experiential truth will 
appear to be offering an objective viewpoint. 

This is the basis of literalist religions. 

Similarly, any model used by a tradition that teaches 
experiential truth will appear to be offering a subjective, relative 
viewpoint, to those who have not experienced that the model is 
not the experience, or to those who have not experienced ‘the 
truth’ or ‘enlightenment’. 

This is the basis of post-modern magick. 

So, when I state that ‘experience is truth’, and not ‘one 
correct answer’ or ‘the subjectivity of perception’, then I am 
referring to what all magical models based on experience must 
necessarily include, whether you call it ‘God’, ‘endlessness’, 
‘emptiness’, ‘nothingness’, ‘the one’, ‘infinity’, ‘the divine’ or 
‘enlightenment’. 

If you’re familiar with the concept of enlightenment, you 
might have noticed that I claimed you could ‘experience’ it, 
when — as a matter of fact — you neither can nor cannot. 
However, as true as this may be, in light of the actual realisation, 
such as description is simply unhelpful when it comes to 
practical considerations. Obviously, all of the traditional terms 

25 



and words I’ve used to describe the truth are nonsensical. But 
this is okay, because the experience isn’t any of these ideas — or 
any idea at all. If we’re going to talk about magical practice, and 
a model to account for the results of that practice, then the use 
of a nonsensical idea is useful to an extent. I find the label 
‘truth’ to be the most pragmatic, in the sense that from 
whichever viewpoint you may approach it, the definition of 
magick as the art, science and culture of experiencing truth still 
makes sense. 

So, having elaborated on the use of models and the fact that 
the model is not the experience (or, as Alan Watts used to say, 
the menu is not the meal), then how is the claim that ‘magick is 
the science of experiencing truth’, in the sense of experiencing 
enlightenment, emptiness, god or whatever else you want to call 
it, the same as saying that magick is the art of experiencing 
truth, in the sense that you can make any idea true by making it 
an experience? 

In other words, how do we square achieving enlightenment 
with using magick to get laid? 

Well, firstly magick is the means by which we change our 
perception. A magical model is therefore the means by which 
we conceptualise the results of changing our perception. The 
model need not therefore be concerned with what we change 
our perception to, or what we do with our magick, but with 
what will occur from performing the magical act on a regular 
basis. If we perform an act of magick to get laid, to win some 
money, or to curdle our next-door neighbour’s milk, we are 
changing our perception or the truth of our experience, during 
the magical act. 

How many times will we need to experience the fact that we 
can change our perceptions, before it becomes an inescapable 
reality that the truth does not lie in any perception? If we do 
magick every day, how long would this take? If we use magick 
regularly, we cannot escape a confrontation with the malleability 

26 



of perception, and the eventual realisation that no 
perception — including ourselves — is the truth. 

Whether you meditate like a Buddhist, whirl like a Sufi, or 
invoke your Holy Guardian Angel like a Qabalist, you are 
necessarily performing magick to experience enlightenment. 
Indeed, taken objectively, magical models state that you can 
perform these practices and experience the goal. However, the 
goal has many names, all of which are nonsensical. Are you 
looking for an experience of ‘God’, ‘nothingness’, ‘emptiness’, 
or ‘the One’? What is the difference between choosing one of 
these perceptions over another? What is the difference between 
choosing any perception over another? How long before you 
realise that enlightenment, or the truth, is not a perception? 

In other words, doing magick every day, whether it’s for 
money or enlightenment, will inevitably lead you to that which 
is not a perception. 

Of course, if you are actively seeking the end-result or the 
truth regarding existence, you are far more likely to get there a 
lot faster than someone who only uses magick for material ends, 
and it is unlikely that someone who dabbles every now and then 
will reach any kind of significant realisation. Nevertheless, you 
cannot argue forever against the actual experience of the magical 
act and the effect that experience has on you. 

It’s a sad fact that some magicians, who only practise magick 
as a means of fortifying their attachment to material reality, 
suddenly find themselves undergoing the magical process as a 
result of their practice, and experience it as the world being torn 
away. In the tradition of the A. '.A.'., a magician who finds 
himself or herself in such a horrifying situation, but then does 
everything in his or her power to resist the process, becomes a 
‘Black Brother’. Finding yourself in an unpleasant stage of the 
magical development process, and then choosing to strand 
yourself there, is not a recipe for a pleasant existence. 


27 



Saying that, I wouldn’t overly concern myself with the hazard 
of becoming a Black Brother. I practise magick frequently for 
material ends, and it hasn’t yet stood in the way of my 
experience of enlightenment. If you know what you’re letting 
yourself in for, you’re less likely to resist this natural part of the 
process. 

Study as many models as you can, and try and identify where 
you are in those models. It’s possible to start the process and 
get stuck in a low, crappy stage without even being aware of it, 
let alone knowing how to proceed. Whenever in doubt, simply 
practise the basics every day (as described in the Appendix). 

It’s also worth remembering that if you don’t practise every 
day, then you shouldn’t expect any success, material or 
otherwise. 


28 



Chapter Five 



29 


How to Bel ie ve 


A belief can be a simple idea, such as ‘God exists’; or a 
model, such as ‘the universe is a hologram’; or a statement 
of what might occur, such as ‘I will get to work on time’. In 
terms of the magical ritual outline, a belief is synonymous with 
the first step: ‘decide what you want to occur’. (Of course, it 
need not be something you want to occur, but let’s not 
complicate matters.) 

Belief shifting is a term usually reserved for acts of magick that 
involve changing habits, conditioning or world-view, yet any act 
of magick is essentially ‘belief shifting’, because the magician is 
changing his or her actual perception of experience during the 
act. However, magick concerned solely with changing 
experience of the self will have an obviously greater effect on 
the self than magick for simple material ends. As we’ve seen, 
frequent and prolonged magical practice will not only change 
your actual perception of experience, but will eventually lead you 
to that which is not a perception. 

It must be stressed that changing your current explanation or 
model for how or why magick works, such as changing from 
the belief that spirits run the show to the belief that the universe 
is a holographic information system, is not belief shifting. 
Choosing one explanation over another changes or shifts 
nothing but your opinion. The difference between actually 
shifting belief and thinking about different beliefs is quite 
profound; consider the number of people who swear by a 

30 



certain viewpoint or idea, but then go and act in a completely 
contradictory fashion, such as anarchists who ‘fight the system’ 
by claiming welfare. To genuinely shift belief, you need to 
experience the new belief. 

We already know how to do this, in terms of our arbitrary 
ritual outline, but a much simpler way of saying the same thing 
is if you want to make an idea or a belief true, then you need 
simply act on it. 

The act is the experience of the belief. The act makes the 
belief true. 

Just for clarification, ‘the act’ is steps three to five of our 
ritual outline: 

^Choose an experience. 

^Decide that the chosen experience means the same thing as 
what you want to occur. 

* Perform the act or undergo the experience. 

It might be argued that you don’t deliberately decide that an 
action means the same thing as your belief, nor do you ponder 
what experience you are going to have, when you perform an 
action. You just do it. And this is true, because this is the point 
at which our ritual oudine becomes cumbersome and has served 
its limited purpose of making the magical act explicit. 

It’s time to go a step further and realise that any intentional act 
is an act of magick, because an act is the rendering of an 
intention, a belief or a decision into an experience. 

The act is the experience of the belief. The act makes the 
belief true. Here’s a simple act of magick you can do to shift 
your belief, or to make a belief true, which illustrates the point: 

^Obtain a pair of binoculars. 

^ Every night, when it’s dark, go outside with your binoculars 
and look for UFOs, and by ‘UFOs’ I mean alien spacecraft that 


31 



are visiting this planet, possibly with the aim of abducting 
people. 

^Record how many you see each night, even if it is zero. 

*Do this for a month, and compare the results from one 
week to the next. 

It’s pretty obvious what I expect to happen, but you should 
verify this for yourself by doing it. And, just so you know, I have 
actually done this exercise. (It’s a lot more fun when you can 
persuade friends to join in.) 

So, if all you need to do is act on a belief to make it true, 
then — if you want to live in a happy, wonderful world — all you 
need to do is act like you live in a happy, wonderful world. 
When I say ‘act’, this can be anything from a full-blown ritual 
act to something as simple as telling yourself the world is a fun, 
good place to be. 

Of course, just saying it once won’t change much. Try it, and 
see how fast you revert back to thinking and acting as if the 
world isn’t so great. In order to work magick on the self 
effectively you must replace the habitual magick you do every 
day for undesirable ends, with new habitual magick. This means 
repetition. 

Although I’ve argued that all you need to do in order to 
make a belief true is to act on it, please don’t think that if you 
believe you can fly then jumping off a tall building will make it 
so. Remember the second step of the ritual outline: ensure there 
is a means of manifestation for the belief. For a belief to 
manifest in the material world, it must be within the game-rules 
of the material world. Humans do not fly. Humans cannot walk 
through walls, or pass through speeding cars, no matter how 
hard they believe it. Thinking real hard is not belief shifting, nor 
is it magick. 

The good news about magick and belief shifting is that you 
can re -make yourself however you see fit. You can ditch a 

32 



crappy world-view for a good one; swap depression for joy; 
pessimism for optimism; or anxiety for peace. Of course, if you 
want to be depressed, scared and pessimistic, all you need to do 
is act in that way. Here’s another exercise: 

*Tell yourself that you are stupid, ugly, and no one likes you. 

*Do it every day for two weeks. 

^Record the results. 

Then repeat the exercise, but this time tell yourself you are 
intelligent, attractive and everyone loves you. Again, do it every 
day for two weeks. When the month is up, compare the results. 
You’ll never comprehend what a difference such an exercise will 
have on your life if you don’t do it! 

If it seems as though you are nothing more than an 
inconsequential meat robot, at the mercy of a cold, uncaring 
universe, where everything goes wrong and everyone is an 
arsehole, that’s because you act like you are nothing more than 
an inconsequential meat robot, at the mercy of a cold, uncaring 
universe, where everything goes wrong and everyone is an 
arsehole. No outside agency is going to help you; no one will 
change your experience for you. If you live in a shitty universe, 
it’s up to you to change it for yourself. Magick is first and 
foremost about taking responsibility for your existence. 

Belief shifting doesn’t stop with altering personality traits; the 
aim of the game is enlightenment. The fact that you can make 
yourself a well-adjusted happy individual in the process is just 
one more piece of evidence that the world is truly a wonderful 
place. So apart from actively working on your personality traits 
or general outlook on life, adopt as many magical models as 
possible and act on them. As soon as a significant result 
manifests, move on to another belief system and repeat. 

Perform a puja to Ganesha every day, until you actually 
experience union with him; take up Sufism and pray to Allah 


33 



every morning; build a sweat lodge in your back garden and take 
up ancestor worship. 

Remember, just because you can shift your belief, it doesn’t 
mean the experience of those beliefs is somehow fake or 
illusory. On the contrary, belief shifting makes them real. 

Shifting belief doesn’t make gods or spirits nothing more 
than mental constructs, nor does it mean that people who 
adhere to a single belief system are somehow less intelligent 
than you. So-called ‘magicians’ who exhibit this attitude do so 
because they have only ever experienced gods as ideas, and 
belief as opinion. This attitude is the telling sign of someone 
who thinks they’re a belief shifter, when in fact all they’ve ever 
done is think about beliefs. 

Contrary to popular opinion amongst traditionalists, 
someone who actually shifts belief is necessarily genuine and 
respectful, because magick makes belief real. 


34 



Chapter Six 



35 


The Culture of Experiencing Truth 


W e’ve explored the application of the scientific method as 
the most sensible means of approaching magical 
practice; we’ve examined the common factors of all magical 
techniques in the ritual outline, and the necessarily artistic nature 
of the magical act; we’ve looked at why magick fails, or — more 
correctly — the ubiquity of the magical act of desire; we’ve 
considered the long-term effect of magical practice as a natural 
movement towards experience of the truth regarding existence, 
or ‘enlightenment’; and we’ve discussed belief and the use of 
magick in everyday life as a means of changing the self. 

In this concluding chapter, I would like to investigate magick 
as culture, the implications of being a magician, and the nature 
of tradition. 

So firstly, what do we mean by culture ? 

I’m using ‘culture’ as a blanket term for anything that is a 
product or a necessary component of an activity— in this case, 
anything that is a specific product of the magical act. 

We have products or components in a technical sense: that 
is, the actual methods employed in the magical act which — as 
you recall — are arbitrary, no matter how useful. The same 
applies to rituals, from the one-off originals to all the golden 
oldies, such as ‘The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram’. 
We also have the tools and props used in magick — like wands, 
altars, and robes — which bleed into those products serving a 


36 



more social role, such as dress codes and stereotypes: hippy 
pagans, greaser chaos magicians, goth Satanists, and the like. 

All the books you’ve ever read on magick, all the websites 
and forums you visit, all the philosophies, attitudes and models 
you entertain, these are all examples of magick as culture. 

It is worth bearing in mind, however, that immersion in 
magical culture does not make you a magician. In fact, in my 
experience, it tends to be those people who look most like an 
occultist that seem to do the least amount of magical practice. 

But culture doesn’t just end with products or components as 
objects; magical activity necessarily has social and ethical 
implications. When I say ‘ethical’, I’m not implying anything as 
trite as white or black magick, or any kind of moral evaluation 
of what you might use magick for. I’m talking about how you 
conduct yourself or act as a human being. 

Whether you treat them as accidental, ignore them 
completely, or consciously deliberate over them, there is no 
escaping the fact that magick, like all activities, has social and 
ethical implications. For instance, when someone first becomes 
interested in magick, do they tell all of their friends and family, 
or do they investigate the occult secretly? What would happen if 
close friends and family found out? Would relationships break 
down, or would that person be supported? How would the 
impact of knowing that magick works alter his or her 
relationship with society as a whole? Does he or she use magick 
to help themselves, their friends and family, or the whole 
community? Do they practise alone, or do they find a group to 
practise and exchange ideas and experiences with? 

There are, of course, many more effects or components of 
the magical act in a social and ethical sense, but this gives the 
general idea. How you conduct yourself and live your life in the 
light of magick is something that becomes an ongoing process, 


37 



something you’ll have to deal with for as long as you remain a 
magician. 

It’s a fact that you cannot have the magical act, or any 
activity for that matter, without the culture. You cannot 
perform the act in the technical sense without the methods or 
tools; you cannot perform the act without a social context (I’m 
including working alone and in secret as a social context); you 
cannot perform the act without a reason for your behaviour, 
which is necessarily informed by your ethics. This doesn’t mean 
that magick needs to be concerned with the specifics of ethics 
or motives; moral codes, much like magical methods, are 
essentially arbitrary, and just as no method is magick, no specific 
moral law is magick either. Nevertheless, ethics and motives do 
exist and are inseparable from the magical act. Whether you 
acknowledge this for your own benefit, or ignore it, does not 
change that fact. 

I try to be as fully aware as possible, and so I prefer 
consciously to address these areas. Whether you do or not is up 
to you. 

The most obvious example of magick as culture is tradition. 
Tradition has the most recognisable affect on a magician’s life, 
because tradition is effectively a specific and recognisable set of 
cultural products or components, including teachings, attitudes, 
rites, dress, ethics, practices, texts, social roles, group work, 
community structures, and so on. 

Even chaos magick, or ‘post-modern magick’, the tradition 
that claims it’s a theory and not a tradition, has an inevitable 
aesthetic — specific symbols, such as the ‘chaosphere’, key texts 
such as Liber Null, core practices such as sigil magick, specific 
behaviours such as belief shifting. Once again, this is because 
you cannot have the magical act without the magical culture. As 
we’ve seen, magick is an art form; the rituals you use, how you 
dress, what groups you associate with, what teachings appeal to 
you, what model you use to view the world, are all arbitrary and 

38 



ultimately your decision. Of course, this begs the question: does 
it mean that traditionalists are ignorant or deluded? If the 
culture of magick is arbitrary, or if no specific set of cultural 
components is more valid than any other, is there really any 
point in seeking out a teacher of some tradition or other for 
‘genuine’ initiation? 

Well, first of all, although the cultural components of magick 
are arbitrary, they’re nevertheless indispensable. You cannot 
have the magical act without the magical culture. Although 
culture is man-made or arbitrary, that doesn’t mean all 
viewpoints are equal to the individual. I ascribe to certain 
models or ideas because they fit my experience and satisfy my 
tastes, and work for me better than others. I find certain 
viewpoints and aesthetics abhorrent and absurd, as I’m sure you 
do too. 

Belonging to a tradition or seeking initiation into a tradition 
is therefore by no means ignorant, as some post-modernists 
would have you believe, but instead a matter of personal 
relevance. Even so, by the same token, you don’t have to find a 
genuine teacher or tradition in order to be a real magician; as 
I’ve mentioned, culture is inseparable from the act, and so the 
path of the solo magician who has learnt everything he or she 
knows from books is just as valid as the path of the monastic 
Taoist. 

Although it is important that the magical culture you ascribe 
to addresses your individual and social needs, the one thing 
above all others that validates a magical culture, whether 
traditional or otherwise, isn’t the tangible and specific 
components; it isn’t the techniques or tools you use; it isn’t the 
books you read, the rules you follow, or the group you belong 
to, but that which is the invisible wellspring of all these things: 
the magical act. 

The qualification of all genuine and real traditions, no matter 
how diverse or seemingly disparate, whether Eastern or 

39 



Western, whether demonstrated in person, spoken or written, is 
the transmission of the magical act. Everything else is 
secondary. There is, and always has been, only one movement, 
one school, one aim; and in this transmission it’s known as 
magick. 

Magick is the art, science and culture of experiencing truth. This 
definition gives you the what, the why and the how of magick. 

The when is up to you. 


40 



Appendix 



41 


Beginning Magick 


What is magick? 

Magick is the art, science and culture of experiencing truth. 
What does that mean ? 

Magick is the art of experiencing truth. In other words, you can 
choose any experience (say, dancing around in your 
underpants), decide what that experience will mean ('It will 
rain'), undergo the experience (perform the dance), thus 
rendering the given meaning true (it will rain, because you have 
experienced the fact 'it will rain'. Experience is the truth). See 
Ritual Magick and Sigil Magick for more on this. What can be 
experienced using magick is limited only by your imagination 
(the subjective), but how that experience manifests is limited by 
the available means of manifestation (the objective). 

Magick is the science of experiencing truth. The truth isn't simply 
an idea, nor is it found in the relative or arbitrary nature of 
ideas; truth is experiential, and the practice of magick will lead 
you to an understanding of existence based on direct 
experience, not speculation. By its very nature, life is revelatory 
and so more incredible than any word or idea we can ascribe to 
it. You need only perform the experiment and corroborate this 
for yourself. 

Magick is the culture of experiencing truth. Magick necessarily 
includes sociological and ethical implications, whether they are 

42 



consciously addressed or not. These range from what magical 
tradition, aesthetic, teaching or approach you ascribe to, to 
ethical questions such as: do you use magick just for yourself, 
close friends or the whole community? Do you evangelise 
magick, or do you practice in secret? Do you really want to try 
and maintain relationships with supposed friends who ridicule 
you for practicing the Black Arts? Should you find like-minded 
people for corroboration of experiences, the exchange of ideas, 
moral support and a god-damn fun and exciting time? 

Magick is not simply a method of manifesting material 
results, nor is meditation simply mysticism. There is no 
distinction between Western and Eastern methods of 
experiencing the truth; there is, and always has been, only one 
movement, one school, and one aim; in the West, we know it as 
Magick. 

What will l get from practising magick? 

^What you want, in terms of materialism (sex, money, 
power, etc.) 

^What you want, in terms of spirituality (enlightenment). 
Sounds good. How do I start ? 

Practise the basics every day, as described in the following 
pages. Then, once you feel up to it, obtain the Knowledge and 
Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. 


43 



The Magical Diary 


The Point 

*A means of improving magical methods by acting as a 
record of experiments. 

*A goad to further work. (There’s nothing quite like a blank 
page to give you a kick up the arse.) 

* A method of integration. 

^The provision of a better record than your memory. 

*The magical diary renders predilections explicit, either as an 
indicator for specialisation or a blatant sign that it’s high time 
you tried something new. 

The Practice 

^Buy a fancy journal. 

^Record your magical activity every day. That means, if you 
did nothing, write it down! 

^Include: Date, Time, Activity, Results, and any 

speculations. 

Expected results 

Keeping a magical diary will make you a better magician for 
all of the reasons listed on this page. 


44 



Exclusive Concentration 


Abstract 

The ability to focus the attention is essential to performing 
any task; therefore, the greater the degree of focus, the greater 
the success in the performance of that task. 

The Point 

Apart from the general benefits of increased mental flexibility 
and endurance, a degree of success in Exclusive Concentration 
is essential to performing Inclusive Awareness (see below). 

The Practice 

^Sit down. 

^Choose an object to concentrate on. This can be imagined 
(a coloured shape, or a sound — such as an arbitrary mantra) or 
physical (a spot on the wall, a random object, etc.) 

* Bring your attention on to the object and keep it there. If 
you find your attention wandering, return it to the object. Do 
not try and stop any intrusive thoughts, and do not get annoyed 
with how frequently your mind wanders; as soon as you realise 
you are not concentrating on the object, just bring your 
attention back to it and keep it there. 

Duration 

A minimum of half an hour a day. 


45 



Expected results 

Success in Exclusive Concentration will take the form of a 
trance state, a number of models for which can be found in 
Buddhism (where they are known as Jhana states) or in yoga 
(. Dhyana ). The trance state may include but is not limited to the 
following symptoms: 

*A feeling of expansion. 

^Trembling. 

^Seeing a light with the eyes closed. 

^Bliss. 

*A strange high-pitched sound. 

* An incredible feeling of focus. 

^Peace. 

*A feeling of Unity with all things. 

*...and many more bizarre and wonderful effects. 

Progress 

There is a good argument for practising Exclusive 
Concentration for life; it is to the mind what physical exercise is 
to the body. It is also true that the resulting trance states can be 
enjoyed for their own sake. However, once a degree of success 
has been attained, the practitioner should either change their 
practice to Inclusive Awareness or include Inclusive Awareness 
practice alongside Exclusive Concentration, for it is only 
through Inclusive Awareness that we come to the truth. 


46 



Inclusive Awareness 


Abstract 

The truth about existence must be inherent in existence 
itself. Therefore, if we are to understand existence, we must first 
let ourselves be aware of it. 

The Point 

To experience the truth, or what is often referred to as 
‘enlightenment’. 

The Practice 

*Sit down. 

Be aware of what you are experiencing. Let thoughts, 
feelings, and physical sensations arise and pass away of their 
own accord. If a sensation arises that you find displeasing (such 
as thinking about what is on television, or a very annoying tune 
you heard on the radio earlier, which won’t stop going around 
in your head) do not attempt to exclude that sensation. Just be 
aware of it. This goes for any sensations that might make up the 
experience of trying to be aware. 

5fit might help to achieve the correct attitude by choosing a 
random body part and allowing yourself to experience the 
sensations that make up that body part as they arise. Let the 
sensations ‘come to you’. Once this is mastered, you need only 
apply the same attitude to all sensations. 


47 



Duration 

Minimum of half an hour every day. 

Expected Results 

Gradually, subtle sensations such as a feeling of ‘self or the 
passing of time may appear in your awareness that you may not 
have been aware of before. This is a good indication of 
progress. However, don’t forget to adopt the correct attitude 
toward any thoughts of progress also. 

The result of this practice is enlightenment. 

Progress 

The practice of Inclusive Awareness sets a process in 
motion. Whereas Exclusive Concentration engenders states, 
Inclusive Awareness takes you through stages. I highly 
recommend the study of as many magical developmental 
models as possible, including: Buddhist Insight Progress; 
Western Qabalah (A. '.A.'.); Alchemy; and the ‘Ten Ox-Herding 
Pictures’ of Zen Buddhism. 

As a process, enlightenment is ongoing, and therefore 
Inclusive Awareness should be practised for life. 


48 



Ritual Magick 


Abstract 

You are responsible for your reality. 

The Point 

To get what you want. 

The Practice 

^Think of something that you want to occur. 

^Invent a ritual. This can be absolutely anything at all, but if 
you need somewhere to start, obtain items to use as 
representations of the people or objects involved in your 
desired outcome, and act out that outcome. For instance, if your 
desire is: ‘S.M. will change her mind and decide to give me the 
pay-rise I asked for’, you might use an inflated balloon to 
represent her head, which you pop, as a representation of her 
‘changing her mind’. (You can find many examples of ritual 
magick in the Grimoire section at www.thebaptistshead.co.uk.) 

^Decide that your ritual means the same thing as your 
statement. 

* Perform the ritual. 

^Wait for the result. 

Expected Results 

Some time after the act, your desire will manifest in the form 
of a synchronicity. But beware: if your desire is ‘I will get laid’, 
you might find yourself hounded by a rotund monster at a 

49 



party, who manages to comer you in the bathroom as your 
friends suddenly disappear. 

The gospel is: ‘y ou get what you ask for’. So when you state 
your desire, do not say: ‘I want to have sex’. You will simply 
find yourself working instantaneous magick (i.e. you will want to 
have sex). You need to state what you actually want to 
occur — such as: ‘I will win at the races’. 

It pays to be specific. For instance, ‘I will have sex with a 
beautiful lady’ would have been a more prudent statement of 
intent than ‘I will get laid’. 


50 



SlGIL MAGICK 


Abstract 

You are responsible for your reality. 

The Point 

To get what you want. 

The Technique 

The method of sigilisation consists of writing out a desire, 
omitting repeated letters from the words you’ve written, then 
arranging the remainder into an arbitrary, abstract glyph. The 
magician then enters a state of great excitement or calm, by 
such methods as hyperventilation, meditation, flagellation (or 
other pain-inducing practices), dancing or entheogenic 
consumption. However, the most popular method (for obvious 
reasons) is sex. At the peak of the altered state (this would be 
orgasm, in the case of sex) the sigil is visualised or looked at, 
and then forgotten about. 

* Write down a desire. 

^Create a sigil by omitting repeated letters, then arranging 
the remainder into an arbitrary, abstract glyph. 

* Masturbate. 

*At the point of orgasm, visualise the sigil. 

^Forget about it. 

Expected Results 

The same as for Ritual Magick, above. 

51 



Banishing 


The Point 

To get rid of any unwanted manifestations, from evil spirits 
you might have summoned, to unsavoury emotional states that 
might have been left lingering in the air. 

The Practice 

There are many, many banishing rituals, some complex and 
some very simple. A banishing should be performed before and 
after every ritual, unless of course you want to stay whatever has 
been summoned or might be lurking. 

Simple Banishing 

Banish with Taughter 

^Laugh. 

^Although forced at first, and a little weird, eventually you’ll 
be able to laugh on command in a genuine fashion. 

Smudge 

*Burn some sage and waft it around. 

^ Ask your ancestors and spirit-helpers to aid you in 
cleansing yourself and the place, and removing any evil spirits. 

Complex Banishings 

^The Star Ruby. 

^The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. 

^The Gnostic Pentagram Banishing Ritual. 


52 



Links to detailed descriptions of all of these can be found at 
www.thebaptistshead.co.uk. Of course, you could always make 
one up. Simply drawing a pentagram in the air at the cardinal 
points works just fine. 


53 



Entity Work 


Abstract 

One of the most rewarding fields of magical practice is 
interaction with non-human intelligences, or working with 
spirits and gods. This can take many forms, from creating your 
own entities to practicing a religion. 

The Point 

To make some interesting friends, learn about the nature of 
Deity, and get what you want you want. 

The Technique 

Working with spirits, gods or other entities, is very simple: 
you decide to. Like this: 

^Decide why you want to work with an entity (this can be 
anything from a specific reason like wanting to increase your 
wealth, to just plain curiosity). 

^Pick an appropriate entity (so if you wanted to perform 
some magick related to love, an appropriate goddess to work 
with might be Venus. There is also no reason you can’t pick the 
spirit of someone who has died to work with, like an ancestor). 

^Choose a representation of the entity to work with; this 
could be physical (like a painting or statue - either bought or 
made by yourself), or imagined (by visualising the entity’s form - 
what does it look like/ smell like/ sound like?). 

Alternatively, if you know it, you can just work with the 
entity’s sigil or seal in place of the entities actual form. 

54 



Remember: if you choose to visualise the entity, it doesn’t 
mean you are not addressing a real intelligence; what you 
experience is the truth. 

*Now talk to him or her. If you don’t know what to say, 
consider how you would talk to any stranger. Be polite and 
friendly. 

*If you know what the entity likes, give him or her an 
offering, and in return ask for help with whatever problem may 
be at hand. It feels silly to have to say this, but remember: if you 
want to interact with the entity, you must decide to interact with 
the entity, by doing it. 

Offerings can take many forms, such as food, flowers, 
alcohol, tobacco, art works and even breath. Two of the most 
‘powerful’ offerings, that entities from all walks of life seem to 
prize above all others, are blood and sex. 

Offering blood does not require amputation or murder 
(disappointing, I know) - a single drop of blood extracted via a 
sterilised lancet and dabbed on the entities representation will 
suffice. 

Similarly, in the case of a sexual sacrifice, an orgy isn’t 
necessary (but if you’re going to be at one anyway, what the 
hell?). Simply anointing the entity with sexual fluids from a 
dedicated act of masturbation is adequate. 

It must be stressed that both blood and sex sacrifices should 
only be used in extreme cases - they guarantee exceptional 
results, but if used frequently some spirits will expect nothing 
less in the future — and then where do you go from there? 

^Once you’ve said everything you need to say, thank the 
entity and say goodbye. 

*It is customary to perform a banishing ritual here. 

Expected. Kesults 

It must be remembered that non-human intelligences can 
only communicate through what is available - if you don’t have 


55 



great visionary ability, don’t expect the entity to pop up and 
shake your hand. 

If all you do is address the entity, give an offering, ask for 
help and give thanks, without any visible manifestation or a 
booming voice or objects floating around your room, the 
magick will still work (unless, of course, you’re rude and expect 
something for nothing). 

If you want more than a one-way conversation, it can be 
prudent to offer a means of communication when working with 
a spirit, such as a divinatory device like a pendulum or Ouija 
board. Another good means is to ask the entity to 
communicate with you through your dreams, or to allow the 
entity to manifest through your body (otherwise known as 
channelling, invocation or possession). 

Unless an entity has a special interest in you (this does 
happen), it may take a while before the entity starts visiting you 
spontaneously or helping you out at times of need without 
being asked. This is when the real benefit of forming a 
relationship with a non-human intelligence becomes apparent. 


56 



The Qaballah 


Abstract 

The universe is composed solely of ideas. The most 
elementary expression of an idea, and its relationship with any 
other idea, is mathematical. The primary symbol system of the 
universe is therefore numerical. This makes it possible to 
attribute any phenomena whatsoever to an appropriate primary 
symbol. 

The Point 

^Provision of a mnemonic system without parallel. 

^The ability to understand a phenomenon through its 
relationship to all other phenomena, similar or otherwise. 

*To engage in a habitual contemplative method of reducing 
the many to the one: a system of gnana yoga. 

^To greatly increase the experience of intellectual realisation. 

*A means of increasing depth of meaning in the experience 
of synchronicity. 

^The acquisition of a universal means of communication 
(especially handy when dealing with non-human intelligences) 
and a handy symbol set for use in ritual. 

The Technique 

Choose a Qaballah: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, GoN, 
etc. 


57 



Develop a ‘Book of Numbers’. Write down every number 
from 0 to 1,000. Work out the numerical value of all the ideas 
that are important to you (using the Qaballah you have chosen), 
and write them next to the corresponding number. Add new 
words as and when necessary. 

Study the Tree of Life, and work out where each word in 
your ‘Book of Numbers’ belongs among the ten sephiroth. (For 
numbers over ten, a simple method of adding the digits 
together to produce the smallest number possible is useful. 
There are many more methods, and no doubt these will present 
themselves in the course of your study.) 

Examine all possible mathematical relationships, and 
ascertain what these relationships mean for the ideas to which 
you apply them. 

Classify each phenomenon you experience in terms of the 
Tree of Life, until this becomes habitual. 

Duration 

The study and use of the Qaballah should be a life-long 
habit. It is only after prolonged practice that the real benefits of 
Qaballah come to fruition. 

Expected Kesults 

All of the points made under ‘The Point’. 

Note: The Qaballah does not ‘prove’ anything. The Qaballah 
is a perfect symbol system, capable of describing the totality of 
the universe, but it is not an objective science. 

For instance, if I were to discover my name has the same 
numerical value as the word ‘Messiah’, it does not prove that I 
am the Messiah. The Qaballah is simply a demonstration of the 
relationship between symbols. The most I could conclude in 
this instance is that I am just as much God as the Messiah is, 
and that the Qaballah has provided a perfect symbolic 
expression of Immanence! 


58 



Astral Travel 


Abstract 

Every intentional act is an act of magick. The practice of 
magick is therefore the exercise and growth of conscious 
awareness, an expansion of the self in all directions and on all 
levels of experience. 

One such level of experience is the imagination, or astral 
plane. The magician possesses an imaginary body, which 
inhabits an imaginary world with its own specific rules, flora and 
fauna. 

The Point 

^An expansion of the self. 

*A greater awareness of the environment of the imagination 
and its peculiar laws and nature. 

^The ability to perform acts of magick in a virtually 
unbound medium. 

^The ability to have experiences otherwise impossible in the 
physical realm. 

The Technique 

^Lie down and relax. 

^Become aware of your imaginary body. Although you are 
essentially imagining the body, there should also be an element 
of allowing the sensations of the astral body to arise. 

* Begin to move around in your imagined form, see with 
your imaginary eyes, hear with your imaginary ears, etc. 

59 



For some, astral travel comes easily, but for a lot of people it 
can be difficult. If you are struggling to ‘leave’ the physical body 
or unable to sense with your imaginary senses, then there is only 
one possible course of action — practise! Some find it useful to 
move a physical limb, remember what the physical sensation felt 
like, and then use that memory as basis for moving the 
corresponding astral limb, and thus slowly building up the astral 
form. However, I very much believe in simply repeating the 
above exercise — usually, the ‘knack’ is suddenly gained and all 
problems vanish. 

Explore, but be cautious — not all astral beings are who they 
say they are, and not all beings mean well. It is prudent to have 
a good banishing ritual under your belt. If you wish to gain a 
greater understanding of a certain idea, travel to its astral abode. 
For instance, if you wish to explore Malkuth on the Tree of 
Life, you can create a door with the necessary attributes (such as 
the appropriate colour, symbol, and material peculiar to 
Malkuth) in order to take you there. 

Always be sure to return your astral body to your physical 
body at the end of practice. (Consider what might happen to 
your physical body, if you left it unattended!) 

Duration 

At least half an hour everyday, until basic competency is 
achieved (i.e. you consistently experience the astral plane and 
yourself from a first-person perspective, and your imaginary 
body, or ‘body of light’ is good and solid). Thereafter, explore 
as often as is required. 

Expected Results 

Mastery of the astral plane. 


60 



Rising on the Planes 


Abstract 

Enlightenment is possible through any plane or level of 
experience. 

The Point 

*An expansion of the self. 

^The experience of trance states, mystical visions and the 
process of enlightenment. 

The Technique 

^Lie down and relax. 

^Become aware of your imaginary body. Although you are 
essentially imagining the body, there should also be an element 
of allowing the sensations of the astral body to arise. 

^Once in your astral body (this should be mastered before 
attempting the current practice), rise upwards in a straight line. 

*Do not stop rising. The aim is to continue rising in your 
astral body, regardless of what may be seen, heard or 
experienced until you either lose consciousness from 
exhaustion, or experience a desired result. 

^Once you wake up, record what occurred. 

Duration 

Once a day. 


61 



Expected Results 

A plethora of wonderful mystical events. With dedicated 
practice, you can expect engagement with the process of 
enlightenment. 


62 



Divination 


Abstract 

In order to divine an answer to a question, it is necessary to 
have a number of representations of possible answers to that 
question; and so the better divinatory systems, such as the I 
Ching and Tarot, have evolved into complete maps of reality 
where all phenomena can be attributed to a ‘correct place’ or 
meaning. 

The Point 

The continued use of such maps will not only give you the 
ability to foresee the future i.e. the symbols you read for your 
answer will share the same nature as a future event, but will go 
some way to facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the 
past and present. Divination is a means of acquiring wisdom. 

The Technique 

There are three approaches to divination, for which I have 
provided three exercises: 

Exercise 1 

^Investigate an existing method of divination that offers a 
complete map of the world, such as the Tarot or the I Ching. 

^Perform a reading for the day or week ahead for a period 
of a month or longer, and record the results. 


63 



Exercise 2 

^Investigate an existing method of divination that offers 
simple ‘y es ’ and ‘no’ answers, such as the pendulum or ouija 
board. 

* Perform a divination for the day or week ahead for the 
period of a month or longer, and record the results. 

Exercise 3 

^Invent your own method of divination. 

* Perform a divination for the day or week ahead for the 
period of a month or longer, and record the results. 

Expected Results 

The answers to your questions, and a means of 
communicating with non-human intelligences. 


64 



The Holy Guardian Angel 


Abstract 

The universe is the Godhead expressed in matter. The 
universe is in a process of realising itself as the Godhead, and 
this ‘enlightenment’ is the destiny of all living things. However, 
this realisation is non-dual, and so any attempt at achieving this 
‘enlightenment’ is necessarily a move away from it. 

One method around this difficulty is to work with a dualistic 
expression of the non-dual. The Holy Guardian Angel is one such 
expression, and can therefore be considered your future magical 
self (as the non-dual is your inescapable fate). 

Because the Holy Guardian Angel is your future magical self, 
he or she is the guru par excellence. 

The Point 

A fast track to magical power and enlightenment. You’re not 
really a magician until the knowledge and conversation of your 
HGA is achieved. 

The Practice 

^Decide you want to obtain the knowledge and conversation 
of your Holy Guardian Angel. 

^Invent a ritual whereby you invoke your angel and ask it to 
contact you. As a very simple example, create a representation 
of your HGA, such as an arbitrary abstract glyph, and looking at 
it, either drawn on a piece of paper or visualised, say: ‘I invoke 
you, my Holy Guardian Angel,’ and: ‘I ask you to contact me’. 

65 



(In my own case, I had great success with asking my angel to 
contact me via dream.) 

^Repeat this invocation, which can be as simple as the 
example, or as complex as a twelve-part poem. Repeat as many 
times as you feel necessary. Entering a meditative state 
beforehand may help, as may a dimly-lit temple filled with 
incense. Create whatever atmosphere and conditions you feel 
are necessary. 

*Do not banish after the ritual; you want your HGA to stick 
around. 

*Wait for results. 

Duration 

Invoke for half an hour a day, and do it every day for as long 
as it takes. After contact is made, you’ll work with your HGA 
for the rest of your life. 

Expected Results 

First of all, a ten-fold improvement in your magical ability. 
Second, you’ll get exactly what you need at exacdy the right time 
in terms of your magical development. You’ll experience success 
in meditation to a degree and frequency far beyond what was 
possible without your HGA. 

Progress 

Once contact is made, you’ll receive teaching from the HGA 
that will eventually lead to union with the angel, after an event 
known as ‘Crossing the Abyss’. 

Enlightenment comes after. 


66